Where you at though?
This message is one that has been working in my life all of 2017 and now in 2018 it’s starting to come to together.
Let me share this with you. Have you ever expected God to do something, KNOWING he can do it? You pray and you believe and you expect God to answer that prayer. But, one day day turns into a week and then a month and then a year… and then two years and then… five years…
Perhaps you think, “God! Where you at though?”
“I prayed for healing and I am still dealing with this illness!”
“You said don’t chase them because I will bring you the one, but I don’t see him. The clock’s ticking and I am not getting any younger!”
“School was the way to go… but it’s been 6 years and I still don’t have my bachelors degree!”
“My job… yeah it’s rough and I have been applying elsewhere and nothing!”
“You said you would provide… but uhhh you see the way my transactions are setup…”
I mean whatever the situation was, we EXPECTED God to do something, yet it seemed like he didn’t.
Then, before we even realize it, we find ourselves frustrated, upset, and sometimes even angry.
Girl, you crazy!
Y’all don’t do me like that. We get frustrated with situations and sometimes even upset with God because we feel like he has abandoned us or something.
I’ve been there. I may not have said it, but my actions screamed it.
I stopped praying and I stopped believing. Why? Because it was easier to stop asking than to keep asking and feel disappointment every time I had to go to God again with the same request.
But, let me spare you some of pain, PLEASE!
Why do some prayers get answered and others don’t?
#1 REASON – Wrong Motives.
“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” James 4:3 (NIV)
Wait. Don’t stop reading. There’s something sort of special here.
See, sometimes we pray for good things (husband, children, jobs, careers, degrees, financial stability, growth, etc. ) to come to pass, but the motives behind them don’t necessarily align with what God wants for us.
Here’s my personal experience. For years, since I was like 3, I’ve dreamed of a husband. I used to dream of the day I would bump into Mr. Right and he’d take one look at me and say “accepted”, “mine”, “valued”. Perhaps, this desire is a result of unresolved daddy issues, if you’ve read my previous posts you’ll know why I say this.
Regardless of the reason I was placing these emotional validations on a person, not on God. See, God already said accepted, mine, and valued. Jesus announced it on the cross. And it’s not that he doesn’t want me to get married, it’s that He knows that if I get into a relationship with these expectations I am going to be greatly disappointed.
My motives were off. Not saying that my husband won’t feel this way or say these things, but let’s be realistic… he may have an off-day (or season) and do things that I may perceive to mean he doesn’t value me because he forgot my birthday or anniversary or left me stranded at work to go play basketball. So, if I don’t place my emotional validation on God, when my husband starts to act out of his own weakness, my self-image will shatter. That IS NOT what marriage is about and until I place this area in God’s hands for him to fix, he won’t give me what I am asking for. This is my personal growth moment, yours might look different.
Other situations in my life look like this: I’ve been praying for a raise, but God wants me to know him as my provider; I am praying to get straight A’s in school, but God wants me to know that even when I don’t meet the “A-standard” as long as I have his favor I will succeed; I would like to have a beautiful singing voice, but God wants me to worship from a place of humility and not ability; Someone said something hurtful and I would like to not have to deal with them, but God wants me to learn forgiveness, patience, love, grace… You know be a mature person who knows how to do relationships.
I mean my prayers weren’t bad, but the motives behind them were a little off. So when it was time for God to respond, he couldn’t give me what I was asking for and I would get frustrated.
So if you are currently going through a period of frustration due to unanswered prayers I urge you to take a close look at your heart. Take an honest inventory of your thoughts and feelings. Are you asking for things from a place of insecurity? selfish ambition? fear? doubt?
If you find that you are, but don’t know how to fix it, don’t worry.
The first step is acknowledging that our motives are off, then go to God and tell him about it.
“Father, there is this area in my life that I really don’t have much control over, but I place it in your hands. I am sorry if I doubted you, I need you to help my faith. I surrender this area of my life to you. I don’t want to be upset with you when you don’t answer prayers, teach me how to pray. Teach me how to activate my faith and move in the right direction. Speak to me and place a vision in my heart so that I know what I should be praying for. Amen.”